Do you like The Cramps? I sure do. While I don’t want to go so far as to claim that there is an heir apparent to that legendary band’s considerable Psychobilly throne, LA trio Tiger Army is certainly a contender. Flawlessly fusing the classic sounds of surf, punk and rockabilly, Tiger Army own this week’s clip with a Kenneth Anger-influenced visual scorcher, “The Devil That You Don’t Know.” Clocking in at just under two minutes, “The Devil That You Don’t Know” is the complete package, featuring go-go dancers and psychedelic, 60s-era lighting effects that enhance the take-no-prisoners fuzz guitar and air-tight rhythm section of a band that has honed its craft over a two-decade career. Lead singer / guitarist Nick 13 comes off like the Frank Sinatra of rock as he encourages you to harness your inner bad ass, along with bandmates Djordje Stijepovic — unequaled on the upright bass — and four-on-the-floor drummer Mike Fasano keeping it in the pocket at all times. Tiger Army are a force to be reckoned with that are just insane live. Tiger Army’s sixth album, Retrofuture, is out now on Rise Records, and the band is on tour everywhere through 2019 (Tour Dates Here), so check them out if they are coming to your town. Enjoy!
Whether he is making his own original music, collaborating with a fellow respected musician, or creating his unique visual artwork, Joseph Arthur brings a spark of understated genius to everything he touches. It just so happens that Joe is gearing up to release his first solo album in three years (wow!) entitled Come Back World, and that means it is my pleasure this week to give you a little taste, with the single and video for the sublime “Streetcar,” which features guest vocals by Ben Harper.
Remaining very much in Arthur’s wheelhouse while also showing a creative stretch, “Streetcar” is an upbeat, Dylanesque love song that speaks to the joy, emotional intimacy and promise of a new romance. Shot in various locations in NYC, the clip starts out with an interior scene, with Arthur and his lady love playfully boxing with each other as they hang a floor-to-ceiling wallpaper imprinted with the famous image of Led Zeppelin standing in front of the Rock Star Party Plane known as The Starship. The couple then proceed to embellish the wall with paint, effectively transforming it into one of Joe’s instantly recognizable paintings. The two then carry the fun out into a nearly-deserted subway car, which sits-in perfectly for the Streetcar of the song’s title. I’m sure that this video was as much fun to make as it is to watch!
Recently, Joseph Arthur also launched a new Podcast called Come To Where I’m From (after his sophomore album released in 2000), which to-date has featured celebrities, comedians and musician from across the board. All episodes can be viewed on his Youtube Channel. Come Back World drops October 11th, 2019, and fall Tour Dates are below. Enjoy!
Joseph Arthur Fall Tour Dates
Oct 7 Kansas City, MO Knuckleheads (w/ Jesse Malin)
Oct 8 Denver, CO Larimer Lounge (w/ Jesse Malin)
Oct 10 Seattle, WA The Triple Door
Oct 12 Portland, OR Bunk Bar (w/ Jesse Malin)
Oct 15 San Francisco, CA The Chapel (w/ Jesse Malin)
Oct 16 Los Angeles, CA The Roxy (w/ Jesse Malin)
Oct 17 San Diego, CA Soda Bar (w/ Jesse Malin)
Oct 19 Tucson, AZ 191 Toole (w/ Jesse Malin)
Oct 21 Austin, TX Stubbs Jr (w/ Jesse Malin)
Oct 22 Houston, TX Continental Club (w/ Jesse Malin)
Oct 23 Dallas, TX Three Links (w/ Jesse Malin)
Oct 26 Brooklyn, NY Rough Trade
Oct 29 Boston, MA City Winery
Oct 30 Pawling, NY Daryl’s House
Nov 1 Philadelphia, PA The Locks at Sona
Nov 2 Vienna, VA Jammin Java
Nov 3 Baltimore, MD Rams Head (Matinee)
Nov 5 Charlotte, NC Neighborhood Theatre
Nov 7 Detroit, MI Magic Bag
Nov 9 Evanston, IL SPACE (Late Show) (w/ Jesse Malin)
Nov 10 Minneapolis, MN 7th St Entry (w/ Jesse Malin)
Just when I think there are no bands left that can rock hard enough to crack skulls wide open, along comes Crobot, with their wildly compelling video for an uber-contagious tune called “Low Life,” and I know that such a band still exists. Hallelujah! Not only does “Low Life” come on like rolling thunder, but the video plays out like a TV miniseries on ass-kicking. Did you ever allow yourself to wonder what would happen if Motorhead and Tenacious D had a baby? You are about find out.
The clip for “Low Life” captures Crobot front man Brandon Yeagley as he navigates multiple inter-personal settings while exhibiting questionable ‘Low Life’ behavior towards the various characters he comes in contact with. But is he being a jerk, or is he simply reacting to the jerkiness he sees in the world? The multi-chapter video somehow manages to be both badass and delightful simultaneously, and that ls no easy task to accomplish. Accompanied by a high-energy band performance, Crobot have completely mastered the art of creating compelling, entertaining music videos, because this one truly mind blowing. The clip was directed by David Brodsky, and produced by Allison Woest for My Good Eye Music Videos (Clutch, Queensryche, GWAR). Based on the Crobot’s unparalleled heavy metal chops and Yeagley’s irresistibly charismatic swagger (Take Note: This is what a Rock Star looks like) I can only imagine that Crobot would literally be the Best Band You’ve Ever Seen live. I know that I would like to find out.
“Low Life” can be found on Crobot’s upcoming new album Motherbrain, due to drop on August 23rd, 2019. Recommended If You Like: Monster Magnet, Motorhead, The Hellacopters, Soundgaren. Enjoy!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again right now: I would rather listen than any ’80s Metal band for one hundred million billion years than listen to any artist currently on the pop charts for five minutes. Just being serious. For that reason, this week’s high energy clip from New Jersey-based rockers Kodiak is like a breath of fresh air in a vacuum. The no-frills clip for their single “Goodbye,” featuring footage from the studio and the band’s stage show, is a great introduction to this talented band, which includes brothers Pete (Drums) and Chris (Guitar) Biggiani, with Bassist TJ Haefner, and lead singer Eric Dalton. Plus, the group is co-managed by Warren Wyatt and drum legend Carmine Appice. So, props for that.
While “Goodbye” is a classic metal scorcher (comparisons to Van Halen are not unwarranted) Kodiak remind me most of bands like Winger and Dokken: groups with handsome, charismatic frontmen who achieved a crossover appeal by infusing their glam metal repertoire with a few well-placed “power ballads.” I can’t guess whether that will also be Kodiak’s approach, but the potential to stretch out is certainly there. In the mean time, Kodiak guarantee that feel-good, edgy hard rock is officially back in acton. Like them on the FaceBook at This Link. Enjoy!
I admit that I had not visited the current, midtown location of Anton Kern Gallery since they moved from West 20th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District, which was a few years ago at this point. Because Midtown. But then I heard that one of my very favorite living artists, David Shrigley, had an upcoming exhibit at gallery, so I had to attend. Because David Shrigley is The Shit.
Fluff War, as it is called, is Shrigley’s seventh solo exhibition at Anton Kern, and it is comprised of the titular large-scale kinetic sculpture, plus two neon sculptures, and 100 new drawings. If you follow me on the Instagram (@gailpink61) — which you should — then you have seen an assortment of Shrigley’s hilarious drawings which I have been posting over the past couple of weeks under the hashtag #dailyshrigley. Since they are already on The ‘Gram, as the kids says, I will not be posting any of the drawings here. This post is just about the Fluff War itself.
The structure of Fluff War is a ten foot by ten foot square enclosure akin to a miniature soccer stadium or a giant air hockey table. Trapped inside are clusters of black wooly fluff being blown about a smooth white floor by gusts of wind coming in through surrounding vents. Below is a video I filmed of the Fluff at War!
Mesmerizing and fun! War is a cheeky misnomer for what the fluff is engaged in. Incapable of exerting its own will, the fluff is at the whim of hidden fans, randomly sequenced by a computer program, blowing at varying intervals and strengths. It remains unclear which fluff is winning or losing, what the objective is, or if there is one at all. Regardless, one can easily become an enraptured observer of this nonsensical activity.
Fluff War Observed From the Gallery’s Second Floor!
David Shrigley’s Fluff War Runs Through June 15th, 2019 at Anton Kern Gallery, Located at 16 East 55th Street, in NYC.
Hey what’s up? Does it feel like summer yet where you live? Here in NYC, not so much, but I can tell it’s on the way! After taking a couple of weeks off from this column, I was all ready-and-set to post a completely different band for this week’s Video Clip, but then I read about their stupid personal politics and was compelled to make an abrupt about face on that decision. And that’s too bad, because the song was excellent, but the lead singer sounded like a dick, and I just can’t even with that. Anyway, no loss to you, because look what I found instead? It’s this crazy great video for the tune “Permanent High School” from the Julian Casablancas-fronted band The Voidz!
Soundtracked by Casablancas‘ rather intoxicatingly druggy vocals, watching the video for “Permanent High School” feels like being dropped into a dream-in-progess. As the band and its entourage load into a waiting van and head to the gig, two attractive female fans steal clothes from random dryers in a laundromat that is thoroughly bathed in glowing pink light. The now-well-dressed, obviously quite avid fans manage to outsmart club security and hustle their way into the show, squirming all the way to the front of stage, where the band is already in the midst of their set. And then . . . one of the ladies gets a little over zealous, shall we say. From there, it’s like the best night of your life, hanging with your best friend at a show by your favorite band! If these ladies look familiar to you, it’s because they are played models by Suki Waterhouse and Theodora Richards (daughter of Keith Richards). Pretty cool!
Aurally, “Permanent High School” (which has nothing to do with High School) is a sublime mix of psychedelia and garage rock, with probably the best lyrics that Casablancas has written in his entire career. “Permanent High School” can be found on The Voidz 2018 release, Virtue. Tristate area residents can catch The Voidz (and The Strokes) performing on May 31st and June 2nd, 2019 at New York’s Governor’s Ball Music Festival. Enjoy!
I’m sorry to be week late to share this fun video in time for Easter (for reasons which will become obvious once you start watching), but better late than never. This week’s Video Clip comes from Montreal four-piece Tops, sharring a new video for a song from their recent archives. “Topless,” taken from their 2017 album Sugar at the Gate, captures lead-singer Jane Penny as she walks around Berlin at dusk. From quiet moments on her phone to a street orchestra of bunnies, Penny takes in the romance of the Berlin streets as she laments on missing her lover.
Speaking on the inspiration behind the video, Penny says:
“I really wanted to make a video for our song ‘Topless.’ It took a little longer than I anticipated (ehem, about a year longer) but it’s finally here for you. I ended up going for a walk in the neighbourhood where I’ve been living in Berlin, at dusk, and over several days we caught the nicest lighting we could find and some very strange bunnies on display at the local mall. There’s a romantic greyness to Berlin when the leaves are gone, I think the moodiness of the city at the end of winter compliments the song, and my mood that day, quite well. It’s getting harder to remember that feeling now that the leaves are out and the sun is shining, it’s nice to have this remind me.”
The video comes ahead of Tops‘ upcoming North American tour. Beginning May 13th, 2019 in Las Vegas, the group will play 16 shows across the U.S. with a stop in Mexico for Corona Capital Guadalajara Festival. Check out Tour Dates below. Enjoy!
5/9 – Ciudad de México, MX @ Galera
5/11 – Guadalajara, MX @ Corona Capital Guadalajara
5/13 – Las Vegas, NV @ The Bunkhouse Saloon
5/14 -Tuscon, AZ @ 191 Toole
5/16 – Dallas, TX @ Club Dada
5/17 – Austin, TX @ Mohawk
5/18 – Houston, TX @ Satellite Bar
5/20 – El Paso, TX @ Lowbrow Palace
5/21 – Santa Fe, NM @ Meow Wolfe
5/23 – Santa Barbara, CA @ SoHo Music Club
5/25 – Santa Ana, CA @ La Santa
6/13 – Nashville, TN @ Exit / In
6/14 – Asheville, NC @ Mothlight
6/15 – Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade – Purgatory
6/17 – Jacksonville, FL @ 1904 Music Hall
6/18 – Tampa, FL @ Crowbar
6/19th – Orlando, FL @ Soundbar
6/20 – Miami, FL @ Perez Art Museum
When a song instantly conjures a mental movie, on whose soundtrack it fits perfectly, from the very first time you can hear it, that song possesses a cinematic quality that’s been missing from music since the seventies. Just being serious. The transcendent power of the one-song soundtrack hit me as soon as I watched this week’s video clip, “How You Feel” from the southern California-based, mixed-gender sextet, WARGIRL. Blending sixties psychedelia together with seventies funk until it is oh, so smooth, “How You Feel” could have been lifted from a key scene in almost any early James Bond thriller, or perhaps something a bit more exotic, such as Mario Bava’s Danger: Diabolik. If reading that sentence doesn’t get you excited to hear this band, you are dead from the neck up and there is no hope for you. Visually, the accompanying video is a Mondrian-esque, color-block title sequence to that very same movie in your head. It’s two minutes and thirty-five seconds of pure, cinematic perfection.
Comprised of guitarist Matt Wignall, lead singer Samantha Park, bassist Tamara Raye, keyboardist Enya Preston, and dual percussionists Erick Diego Nieto and Jeff Suri, the various members’ diverse backgrounds allow WARGIRL to effortlessly cross and combine genres. I know it’s often said, but WARGIRL truly is a band that sounds like no other, and that’s a very good thing. “How You Feel” can be found on WARGIRL’s self-titled debut album, which is due out on April 19th, 2019! Enjoy!
It wasn’t until the very last day of the exhibit that I made it over to Bitforms Gallery to check out Israeli-American artist Daniel Rozin’s 3-piece interactive show, Sol. To be honest, I was most interested in a piece that everyone seemed to be writing about, a kinetic sculpture/installation called Cracked Mud (2019), which mimics the cracked surface of a dry river bed, stretched out under a glowing sun-like orb.
According to the exhibit press release, “the effects of climate change are causing lakes to warm faster than the oceans and air, leading to a vast increase of dried riverbeds. Cracked Mud emulates this environment with a large-scale floor installation that takes over most of the gallery space.
A barren landscape illuminated by a glowing sun is suddenly transformed into dynamic, undulating motion by sensors that transmit the observer’s gestures into gradual ripples across the ceramic landscape.
Check Out My Video, Below:
The work performs as both an interactive and generative experience through programmed periods of activity. Although the artwork is intrinsically mechanical, the rippling effect gracefully echoes the fluidity of nature. Rozin’s ceramic fragments marry the handmade qualities of natural materials with the exactitude of kinetic technology.”
It was very fun and cool to watch the “Mud” react to my movements as I walked around the installation, and the gallery was empty while I shot the video so, except for a slight cough off-screen from the gallery docent, it was nice and quiet as well.
Singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Andrew Bird has been doing his own thing under-the-radar in various bands, collaborations, and solo efforts — across multiple genres — for two decades. He may not be a household name — unless you know him from his tenure with Squirrel Nut Zippers — but those who seek true ‘artistry’ in a music artist continue to pay attention to his prolific body of work. Today it is my pleasure to give Bird his inaugural exposure on The ‘Gig with the song “Manifest,” from his latest recording.
With playfully colorful animation by Andrea Nakhla, the video for “Manifest” is an ideal accompaniment to this somewhat wistful song that delivers an urgent call to action regarding not just defending, but actively saving our environment, wildlife and natural resources. There’s never been a better time than now to wake up and own your destiny, even if it means acknowledging that we’ve got our work cut out for us. “I’m interested in the idea that our enemies are what makes us whole,” Bird explains. The song’s lyrics are direct and risk-taking, cutting to the quick of what’s happening in our world. The message is that it’s not too late to turn things around.
With all of his many talents, at his core, Andrew Bird is a gifted storyteller whose turn of phrase and instrumental arrangements remind me of greats like Leonard Cohen and James Taylor. He is certainly a unique and welcome voice in today’s cultural climate. “Manifest” can be found on Andrew’s brand new album, My Finest Work Yet, out now on Loma Vista Recordings. Enjoy!